2017 is in full swing, and is showing no hesitation in carrying on its predecessor’s legacy of fucking with us. The plot in Max Keeble’s Big Move is sounding all too familiar to Syracuse students, and if you don’t know what we’re talking about then you probably also never had a childhood. Unless you live under a rock, you have undoubtedly heard rumors that the properties on South Crouse Ave are closing to accommodate for an 8-story “mixed-use building,” consisting of apartments and retail stores. Our dearly beloved Chuck’s Cafe is included in this property that the developers plan to demolish, and is not too far off from the emotional trauma caused by the animal shelter closing in Max Keeble’s Big Move. Both are sentimental places, not to mention the fact that the majority of visitors at Chuck’s often show a close resemblance to animals.
A wise group of people once [a weekend] told me that it’s only considered alcoholism after you graduate college. Although this is usually said in the context of justifying how drunk we “accidentally” got the previous night, the message still stands. We all were raised on values and principles that we learned from Animal House and I’m Shmacked, and if you deny that those videos had an any influence on your college decisions, I’m sorry, but you’re lying. I hate myself for pulling this, but some of the friendships we will never forget were established from the nights we can’t remember…all we know is people saw us at Chuck’s.
Rumors of Chuck’s closing have surfaced many times over the years, yet we never saw any truth to support these claims until this year. No one ever thought such a travesty would occur. Recently, though, the Syracuse City Planning Commission met to vote on a proposal to demolish and replace the properties on South Crouse, a proposal announced on December 19. I’ve watched enough Million Dollar Listing episodes to realize the timing of this proposal being a few days after students took their last final and fled campus is all too convenient.
In the beauty of the Internet, Jerk discovered the founder of BLVD Equities, the real estate development firm purchasing the property, Jared Hutter, is actually a Syracuse Alumni. Does he remember, or “not remember” going to Chucks? Did he bring his parents there when he finally turned 21? Did he sign his initials on the walls in big letters his last night of senior year? Does he still have his graduating class’ Chuck’s t-shirt? Does he value tradition and history at all?!?!?!
Chuck’s may not hold the same type of significance as Trump Tower the White House, or some other national landmark, but seeing the inside of Chuck’s is truly monumental in a young Syracusian’s eyes. It is a safe haven from horny underclassmen striving for a romantic DFMO in a sweaty, overcrowded bar, leading into the “Hey, wanna get out of here?” so that he can sign you into his dorm while you avoid eye contact with the RA. Chuck’s is a Syracuse student’s Mecca that one has only dreamed about venturing into before the ceremony of satisfyingly cutting up your fake ID with scissors into the trash. Here, seniors come together in the concluding months of their lives’ peak to meet one another, despite having three years to do so already. Here seniors can have conversations that aren’t drowned out by a speaker’s bass or a stranger’s tongue.
Senior SU student Jackie Pereira went to the meeting last Tuesday to speak on behalf of the student body and advocate for Chuck’s. “To see [businesses like] the Orange Crate, Chuck’s and Funk ‘N Waffles steamrolled to make way for another large scale retail and apartment structure would be disheartening to all in the community, as well as a bitter 8-foot story reminder to students everyday of another small piece of their campus culture being torn down. The very students, I might add, that this apartment complex would be asking to occupy it,” she told the voters, explaining that Chuck’s and Lucy’s aren’t just bars, but a “cornerstone of our experience and time here at Syracuse University.”
Syracuse has great academics, provides endless possibilities, and all the other stuff your tour guide spewed at you while walking backwards and making rehearsed jokes. If you find your Syracuse sweetheart you should book your wedding date at Hendrick’s Chapel ASAP, and you might want to use pencil! But the most impressive part about this school is its ability to simultaneously maintain both reputations of having prestigious academics and a thriving, contained nightlife. It’s like I always tell my parents, shit could be worse so work with me here. Syracuse, work with us here. We could be like Penn State: more likely to break out in riots than a Disney movie is into song.
Just think of later generations at job interviews and networking events when an SU alumna asks if a recent grad had ever gone to Chuck’s, and he responds, “No, who’s Chuck?” The poor kid probably won’t get the job because he/she made the alumni feel old, then Syracuse University’s employed grad rates will go down and the University will lose applicants, while alumnae feel robbed of their college experiences. Grads from SU will then feel detached from their alma mater, leading to less school donations, resulting in a bankrupt university unable to pay off the $225 million promenade. It’s a slippery slope. Let’s rally the forces and make sure 2017 grads have a happily ever after similar to “Max Keeble’s Big Move.” #SaveChuck’s.